The fear of being without a mobile phone is so widespread that the term ‘nomophobia’ has been developed to describe it.
And while this condition has many underlying traits, from narcissism to boredom, symptoms include stress, anxiety, hypertension and depression.
If we’re honest, most of us experience a frisson of momentary panic if we can’t find a handset – often out of fear we’ve lost it, rather than anything else.
However, the unexpected or seemingly premature depletion of a phone’s battery can also trigger nomophobia.
It’s also extremely inconvenient if you develop a genuine emergency, like a breakdown in the car, to discover your phone battery icon is red.
As such, it’s highly advisable to keep the battery regularly topped up, ideally using a slow charging platform like a wireless pad rather than a quick-charge cable.
However, if a plug socket isn’t readily available, there are plenty of ways to extend your phone charge…
Tips on how to extend your phone charge
- Cut screen timeouts to 60 seconds. You’re unlikely to go a minute without touching the screen while using the device, so sending it to sleep after this point is energy-efficient.
- Turn on power saving. This can double the battery life of a typical Android device compared to normal operations, though it involves cutting off many apps and services.
- Choose a dark desktop background. On many OLED screens, black is represented by turning off the pixels, meaning the display consumes less power when it’s illuminated.
- Restrict app activity. Push services like social media apps and messaging tools are notorious for using battery and data on standby, so disable them in the Settings menu.
- Disable wireless protocols. A similar sentiment applies to WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and other connectivity tools.
- Activate Airplane mode. If you don’t need to communicate, this will significantly extend your phone charge, also enabling interruption-free phone-based entertainment.
- Reduce screen brightness. It’s a little-known fact that battery consumption increases in tandem with screen brightness, so set this as low as you’re comfortable with.
- Disable vibration. Ringtones and notification sounds may be socially embarrassing, but they consume less energy than making the phone resemble a washing machine on its spin cycle.
- Minimise screen interactions. Repeatedly tapping the on-screen keyboard depletes battery life, so avoid non-essential messages until you can access a charging cable.
- Disable or delete Facebook. From autoplaying videos to location tracking, Facebook is one of the most voracious battery drains. Access it through a web browser instead.
- Reduce the prevalence of ads. These are downloaded from third-party websites to overlay content you’ve already downloaded. Block them, close them, go ad-free where possible.
- Download a battery health app. Third-party apps like AccuBattery and Kaspersky Battery Life offer device- and user-specific recommendations for optimising current charge.